Dogs may have cuddly fur, kind eyes, and playful personalities, but they also have powerful and dangerous teeth and triggers for attacking people. Dog bites can cause serious damage, including emotional, physical, and financial harm, and you have a right to seek compensation from the owner of a dog that bites you. At the Weinberg Law Offices, our experienced dog bite attorneys are fearless fighters who are ready to take your dog bite suit to court whenever necessary to make the most out of your claim.
Your Right to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Under California law, you do not have to prove a dog that bit you had a history of vicious behavior before you can make a claim for damages against its owner. If you can prove that you were in a public place or lawfully on the dog owner’s premises (or other private property) at the time of the attack, you have a right to recover compensation in a dog bite lawsuit or an insurance claim. And to maintain your claim, you may also need to prove that you were not provoking or annoying the dog before it bit you.
Remedies Available in a Dog Bite Suit
The compensation and other legal relief that you receive in a dog bite claim should make you whole and make you feel safe. The damages and remedies you can seek include the following:
- Economic damages to pay for past and future financial losses, including healthcare expenses, wage loss, lost earning capacity, and the cost of property repair or replacement;
- Non-economic damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering;
- Exemplary damages to punish a dog owner who causes your dog bite injury by engaging in malicious, fraudulent, or oppressive behavior; and
- Injunctive relief that might involve orders to treat, confine, remove, or euthanize the dog.
Swift action is crucial to obtaining all compensation and relief you deserve. And our attorneys act swiftly and aggressively on behalf of our clients.
What to Do If You Are Attacked by a Dog
A dog attack can be over in seconds but have lasting effects on its victim. This is why you must act quickly to address your medical needs and assert your legal rights after suffering a dog bite.
1. Seek Treatment Right Away
Any injury caused by a dog has significant potential for infection, nerve damage, orthopedic compromise, and disfigurement. Dog bite injuries typically must be irrigated and receive medication or other treatment immediately to prevent disastrous effects for the victim. And if there is a dog bite to the face or a bite that crushes bone or tears deep into the skin, the victim might need several surgeries (including plastic surgery) and monitoring to make sure they properly recover.
Not only does immediately seeking care help ensure that you avoid lasting setbacks in your health and well-being, but prompt and consistent care also helps maximize your damages in a lawsuit. Your healthcare records are vital pieces of evidence when you need to prove the amount of your economic damages and the level of pain and suffering you have endured.
2. Collect Contact and Insurance Information from the Dog Owner as Soon as Possible
To obtain payment for your damages, you will likely have to deal with a dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance carrier. As soon as you can, collect all contact and insurance information from the owner so that you can initiate your claim. The owner’s contact information can also be helpful to your healthcare providers because they can use it to determine whether the medical history of the dog that bit you will require you to receive additional care.
3. Report the Incident to Animal Control
When the County of Los Angeles receives a dog bite report, the dog is quarantined and observed for ten days. This period of observation can give you crucial information regarding a dog’s rabies status, help protect others from the dog, and provide crucial proof for your dog bite case.
4. Gather Evidence Regarding the Attack and the Aftermath
The quality of your legal recovery in a dog bite case depends on the quality of your evidence. To prove a dog owner’s liability and your right to compensation, you may need to collect the following proof:
- Pictures of the premises, your injuries, and the dog;
- Contact information for the dog owner;
- Witness information;
- Medical and healthcare records (for you and the dog);
- Wage records;
- Employment records;
- Receipts and invoices; and
- Police or animal control reports.
You may need attorney help to access some of this information, and our attorneys at the Weinberg Law Offices know all of the legal techniques for obtaining the best evidence for your case.
5. Timely Initiate Legal Action
Your dog bite complaint may begin with an insurance claim, but if an insurance company refuses to pay what your case is worth (which happens often), you might have to sue in court.
You have only two years to sue a dog owner for the harm their dog has caused you. And you should make sure you have had enough time to fully understand your long-term financial and healthcare needs before your two-year window closes. The Weinberg Law Offices can handle the timing of your case to maximize your damages and put your mind at ease.
Call the Weinberg Law Offices for Exceptional Legal Representation
Yoni Weinberg and his team of experienced dog bite attorneys at the Weinberg Law Offices work tirelessly to protect and enforce the rights of personal injury victims throughout the State of California. There is no case too big or too small for us, and there is no fight too scary. And if you need legal assistance in Spanish or Hebrew, everyone on our legal team is able to help you. Give us a call at 866-545-4387, or fill out a consultation request on our website. We offer free consultations, and we do not charge you unless we win your case.
Disclaimer: this content should not be construed as legal advice.